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Accounting Apps | Accounting Technology | Modern Practice

Interviews from the Online Cloud Accounting Apps community.Long-form interviews of people involved in the Accounting Technology community.Together we unpack the reality of automation and productivity in accounting and business. We dissect how accountants can leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data. We share practical advice to help support small business thrive in a rapidly evolving world. Cloud Stories is suited to Management Accountants, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Developers, Cloud enthusiasts, data experts, Virtual Chief Financial Officers VCFO, advisors and business people who are keen to learn about online cloud business solutions and platforms, that connect with Xero, MYOB and/or QBO and the associated community stories.An independently produced podcast.

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🕵️‍♂️ An Inventory Nerd Solving Complex Problems with Simple Solutions | Jeri Wambeek

Jeri Wambeek in her own words: Having owned 3 businesses, myself from a young age, coming from a very entrepreneurial family, I live for helping business owners succeed in finding the best way forward and solving complex problems with simple solutions. As a fully qualified accountant and former tax agent, I stumbled into the world of cloud solutions when I discovered Xero in 2009 and have never looked back. Immersing myself in cloud solutions and the Add On ecosystem surrounding Xero and QuickBooks Online, WhichAddon was inevitably born in 2015 when I knew business owners and cloud advisors around the world were going to need to help to find the right cloud solutions and implement them without all the headaches. Over the years of accounting, cloud conversions and implementations, we have learned what it takes to move to the cloud. Our proven systems provide clean and clear data migration and optimisation, customised training, transition support and ongoing customer care. WhichAddOn We help proactive entrepreneurs grow their profitable business, one awesome cloud software system at a time! WhichAddOn has one purpose: to educate businesses and their advisors on how to find, understand and implement the best cloud software solutions for their business. Jeri and Marlon have 35+ years combined experience in business, accounting, system analysis and business consultancy. Separately they have run our own businesses and managed finance divisions for others. We have both worked in public practice and the commercial accounting arena. They both discovered Xero and the Xero ecosystem back in 2009. Together Jeri and Marlon joined forces in July 2015 to create WhichAddOn. They have both been lovers of learning since we were young, but more importantly love to share everything it is that we learn that is useful so that others can benefit from the process. WhichAddOn lives to educate and empower others to share from our experience and knowledge to find the right solution for any business. Connect with her here: whichaddon.com https://twitter.com/whichaddon https://www.linkedin.com/company/whichaddon-com https://twitter.com/jeri_murph https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerimurphy/ Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here https://HeatherSmithAU.COM


5 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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How to Pick the Best Apps 📲 to Drive Your Business Advisory Service | Tim Hoopmann + Joseph Robins

In this episode, I talk to Tim Hoopmann from Spinn Business Solutions and Joseph Robins from GoCardless about the upcoming Accounting Business Expo, in Sydney March 20 & 21st at the International Convention Centre. We discuss how to get the most out of attending the conference What we shall be talking about in our panel session “How to Pick the Best Apps to Drive Your Business Advisory Service” Spurred on by Joseph’s past life we also shared our favourite cult movies – what’s yours? Sessions Tim Hoopmann shall be speaking at How to Pick The Best Apps To Drive Your Business Advisory Service - Wednesday, 14.40 pm With Joseph Robins, Tim Hoopmann, Bryan Williams, and Heather Smith Automate To Survive And Handle More Customers, More Easily - Thursday, 10.05 am How to Create a Mentally Healthy Business - Thursday, 11.15 am Create The Perfect Daily Schedule For A Bookkeeping Firm - Thursday, 12.25 pm Tim Hoopmann Biography Experienced founder with a demonstrated history growing small business. Strong entrepreneurship and professionally skilled in Business Planning, Cloud Technology, Sales, Marketing, Retail, and Operations Management. A passion for helping small business use technology as a key enabler to increase productivity and decrease costs. Joseph Robins Biography Joe has been with fintech rising star GoCardless since its early days and now leads their latest expansion into the Australian and New Zealand markets. Joe brings extensive knowledge of the payments landscape to his work with accountancy firms, helping them improve and grow the ways they collect recurring revenue. Sessions Heather Smith shall be speaking at Tips, Tools and Techniques for Management Accounting In a Digital World - Weds, 13.30 pm Community, Social Media And Finding Your Tribe  - Wednesday, 13.30 pm I encourage you to sign up to my newsletter, by visiting HeatherSmithSmallBusiness.com/newsletter.


12 Mar 2019

Rank #2

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💵 Building a Cashflow Forecasting Solution that the Business Owners Can Rely on | Colin Hewitt

Colin Hewitt is founder and CEO of Float Cash Flow Forecasting, an app for Xero and QuickBooks Online that helps produce really visual and intuitive cash flow forecasts. After running his own creative agency and struggling to produce cash flow forecasts in a spreadsheet, Colin founded Float in 2010. Now he and his team are on a mission to help small businesses understand their numbers and produce accurate forecasts in a fraction of the time compared to spreadsheets. Colin lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their three children Float Cash Flow Forecasting Float cash flow forecasting provides businesses and their advisors with cash flow forecasts that are highly visual, accurate, and take a fraction of the time to prepare compared to spreadsheets. Business owners are able to easily understand and use Float to predict the cash future of their business, no accounting background necessary. Our daily sync with Xero and QBO means that all of your data is pulled through to populate your forecasts, helping you spot cash fluctuations in advance and have confidence in your future plans. Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here https://HeatherSmithAU.com


27 Sep 2018

Rank #3

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An Accounting Technologist Embracing Symbiotic Relationships 👥 with Accounting Apps | Clayton Oates

Clayton Oates is an Accounting Technologist | Small Business Enthusiast | Encourager | Educator | Story Teller | Each Day Appreciator Bio: Helping Small Business, Accountants, Bookkeepers & Technology Companies to connect with each other (and the clients and customers they serve) to have a better life. It’s been a fascinating journey so far & I've managed to collect some interesting stories along the way; some extremely inspiring ones, and others, well, not so uplifting. But every experience has provided an opportunity to grow & contribute back to a profession that has given me so much. I chose Accounting Technology (more than 25 years ago) as the vehicle to build a better life for myself and my family – and it worked! At the time I was a frustrated and uninspired 24 year old Tax Accountant who dreamed of one day having my own business & the freedom that came with it (Ok so I discovered that the price of freedom certainly isn’t free - but it is worth it). The by-product of adding value to others was that I started to achieve the very thing that inspired me to start my own business in the first place - Freedom! Then just when I thought I had made it, something happened – I Burnt Out! Fortunately, the business model I had built fully supported me & my family throughout the 3 year recovery period, and although I had often said it, I hadn’t appreciated it until that moment – “Be sure to dig your well before you are thirsty”. This experience has been a blessing (although tough to appreciate at the time) it has given me a renewed perspective on life. It has also made me acutely aware that I am not the only one who has had (or is currently going through or heading towards) the same experience. Part of my quest has been to help others (where I can) to live a life of their dreams by being an enthusiastic encourager, instilling confidence, building belief & helping create businesses with a model that provides time for transformation via personal growth & contribution to others. If there is one word that best reminds me of what I value & appreciate, that word would be – Authenticity! What’s your Word? Business: QA Business Pty Ltd The QA Mission To help our clients (Small Businesses / Bookkeepers & Accountants) become the most efficiently run businesses in the country, by taking advantage of technology and implementing simple and effective business systems, enabling you to buy back time from your business. Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here https://HeatherSmithAU.com


30 Aug 2018

Rank #4

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🌏 World's First Accounting Futurist | Chris Hooper

Chris Hooper the CEO  of  Accodex “I honestly believe that accountants have the ability to change the world, they just don't realise it yet. I am in the business of predicting the future of the accounting profession, and it's my mission in life to change the accounting game forever. Some of the ways I am working toward my mission are:  • Leading by example with my company Accodex, a support platform for freelance accountants. • Teaching and mentoring accounting and business students that are going to change the world. • Writing and speaking about accounting industry trends” Chris Hooper In this episode, we talk about . . . Chris wanted to be able to write his own destiny and work as hard as he wanted too How google research led him to embrace the title of an Accounting Futurist And how the freelance accountant in this cloud era is simply a laptop and internet connection, with the ability to work from anywhere on the planet. They can take on as many or as few clients as they want too. They are in control of the scope in services they offer, and also the type of clients they work with. Chris thought process behind choosing Apps, and the war he sees happening in the Reporting App market Accountants need to to be client-facing earlier in their career economic sort of trend called Mimetic Isomorphy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimetic_isomorphism, which refers to the tendency of an organization to imitate another organization's structure because of the belief that the structure of the latter organization is beneficial. Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter: http://HeatherSmithAU.com


31 Oct 2018

Rank #5

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Building a Practice Workflow Solution That Stops Client Work Falling Through the Cracks️ 🌀 | David Cristello

Today I am speaking with David Cristello CEO and Founder from JetPack Workflow In this episode, we talk about . . . Why he created a company to build a Workflow and CRM solution for practices What some of his favourite features and reports are within JetPack Workflow The importance of asking better questions, to uncover real issues. The longest milkshake analogy ever told on an accounting podcast! Also, we heard about an atomic habit that David has adopted, and from that discussion I’ve followed James Clear on twitter And David expressed his interest in understanding if practices really examined their own capacity. If you have thoughts on that – send him a message on Twitter at @DaveCristello not David, just Dave…. Sign up to the Accounting Apps newsletter here: https://HeatherSmithAU.COM


27 Feb 2020

Rank #6

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Discover the Secret Sauce to Writing Killer Content: 🔝 10 Tips | Brad Ewin

Brad Ewin from GoCardless shares his Top Ten Tips for Writing Better Content. Have it all in the intro Write long Edit short Tell the story with headers Provide key takeaways Always have a CTA Draft 15 headlines Create a curiosity gap Make it readable Don't be a perfectionist I also want to let you know that I’ve created the Accounting App Content Creator Facebook group – An educational environment for inspiring and facilitating content generation around the specialist theme of Accounting Apps. Your welcome to join.


23 Jan 2020

Rank #7

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A Serial Entrepreneur on Building Businesses, ⛵ Navigating Cultural Differences, and Always Learning | Michael Ly

Today I’m speaking with serial entrepreneur Michael Ly -  CEO of a number of businesses including Reconciled In this episode, we talk about . . . How Michael stays focused on working on his businesses, rather than in his businesses. The complexities of navigating different cultures in the work environment, How starting a new business gets easier each time, as you learn from past experiences. Michael sharing how his upbringing, in the hot desert of Arizona by Cambodian refugees, impacted his approach The structure of his online bookkeeping and advisory firm The Accounting and Business tools he uses Michael’s philosophy of 'Always be Learning'. Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here https://HeatherSmithAU.COM


6 Mar 2020

Rank #8

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Current Trends and Opportunities in the Apps Advisory World 🗺️ | Jeffrey Atizado & Clinton Cowin

Clinton Cowin from TradiePad and Jeffrey Atizado is from SMB Consultants. Together they are in a partnership called Cloud Integration Partners, and in this episode, we talk about . . . How Jeffrey presented at the 2014 Xero Roadshow and his talk about integration and connectivity opportunities within retail blew my mind. I share my journey in the accounting world and how I stay across Ap developments. We extensively discuss the October 2018 Xero Small Business Insights report and what it means for accountants and bookkeepers, and how they can leverage the insights. Connected Apps can bring data in via dashboards, promptly, and AI and machine learning will uncover real-time business decisions. Technology is pushing the power to the smaller agile businesses Talk about the benefits of business niching, and networking with experts Graduated tools accountants and bookkeepers can use to offer advisory


23 Nov 2018

Rank #9

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📢 A conversation with the ACCA CE Before the World Congress of Accountants in Sydney | Helen Brand

Helen Brand is Chief Executive of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the global body for professional accountants The  World Congress of Accountants 2018 (WCOA2018)  is an International accounting Conference held every four years.  The  20th  WCOA  shall be held in  Sydney  Australia,  5  -  8 November.  The  WCOA accounting conference brings together more than 6,000 delegates from over  130 countries to hear world-class speakers and leaders across the finance and business community.  Visit:  https://wcoa2018.sydney/ for more information.  Helen Brand is a panellist on the 'Digital Future - new ways of working' discussion (10:30 am 8 Nov (Day 4), joined by Bernard Salt, from The Demographics Group).


27 Sep 2018

Rank #10

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Unpacking Cloud-Based App Solutions 🙋‍♀️ | Heide Robson on the Tax Wrap Podcast

I was interviewed about Accounting Technology on the Tax Wrap podcast. Steve Burnham and I talked about: What are cloud-based app solutions? Can you compare traditional accounting software and cloud-based software? What are some business intelligence tools that a practice can make use of? With the cloud-based solutions, are there some SMSF or compliance tools that a practice can make use of? How do you see the adoption of automation and cloud apps changing the role of the accountant in Australia? Tell us about some new features or releases that have caught your eye recently. The transcript is here: Steve Burnham:         Thanks for being with us, Heather. I'm very pleased to talk to you. First of all, I suppose, just to clarify for our membership, for our audience ... It's not just members who are listening in. Can you fill us in? What are cloud-based app solutions? Heather Smith:          Steve, thank you so much for having me on your show. Very excited to be here. And what are cloud-based app solutions? Great question. You have a number of different type of cloud-based app solutions. The essential one is one that is integrated, it's sitting on the internet, which is what we call the cloud, and you potentially can connect into that and the data can connect into that, flow through it and then potentially flow through to another solution. You also have in that same sort of area when we talk about cloud-based app solutions, you also have cloud-based triggers. So something can happen in one area and cause a trigger action to populate another area. So and what I would call that is a tool. So you have a tool like Zapier and something happens in one area and it triggers something to happen, such as- Steve Burnham:         Remotely. Heather Smith:          No, not necessarily remotely. So say someone comes and fills out a form on your website. That could trigger that information to be pushed into your newsletter form, and so it's not necessarily going to flow ... the information is not going to flow back and it's not going to do anything other than just push it across there. But a cloud-based app solution can ... Typically, it's going to automate tasks, and a small business under takes about 50 to 70 tasks as part of the business, and it may automate just 1 of those task or it may automate multiple tasks. Steve Burnham:         And more the better, I suppose. Heather Smith:          Absolutely. More the better that we can get automated. That's what we like. Steve Burnham:         Okay. Look, Heather, just to ... Our membership from surveys that we've done in the past are ... 45% of us are 60 or older, and 68% of us are male. We're a little bit behind the eight ball as far as knowing what the modern solutions are. Can you compare traditional accounting software and cloud-based software? Heather Smith:          Okay, so I spent a long time working with desktop software, and now I primarily sit with the cloud accounting software. With your desktop software, some of the functionalities are going to be the same through the two solutions because it is accounting software. What you have with your desktop software, you may have purchased it and you no longer need to pay any money to update it, or you may simply pay money to update it for your tax tables when the certain features come out that you need to update, say maybe on an annual basis. Typically, with your cloud-based software, you're actually paying on a subscription basis. Now, the desktop software, the data is typically sitting on your computer, which is fine. However, you need to be responsible for backing it up and you need to be aware if you have a fire or theft what's actually happening with that data. Steve Burnham:         Of course. Heather Smith:          With the cloud-based solution, the data is held in the cloud, and with various different accounting solutions and cloud app solutions out there, it will be held in various different places and that's probably something you need to be aware of. But typically, for the main ones, for the major players in the market, it's held in an area that has a jurisdiction that has very similar laws over safety and security of data that we have here in Australia. Heather Smith:          And also, the data is being backed up in the cloud-based solution and it's typically backed up to various different areas. So if an issue happens in one place, then there's normally recovery sites happening as well. So that's important to be aware of. But one of the provisos if you actually read the terms and conditions of cloud-based app solutions is to take responsibility for your own backup. Many people don't, but that is something to be aware of. Heather Smith:          One of the other things is, with your desktop solution, whenever there is an update, you have to manually install and process and implement the update. Whereas, with your cloud-based app solutions the update comes through automatically. You aren't even aware it's happening there. Steve Burnham:         That sounds like a real benefit to start with. Heather Smith:          Yes. Now, one of the major things that is different between your desktop solution and your cloud app online accounting solution is a thing known as bank feeds. What happens is your bank accounts ... And we're talking, there's thousands and thousands of bank accounts who have enabled this to happen. The actual transactions from the bank feed flow into the accounting system automatically overnight. So there's no longer the need to manually enter any of that data. It flows into your accounting system overnight. Whereas with your desktop solution, you had to manually enter that, and typically you were manually entering and reconciling it on a monthly basis, and the access to real time data was a lot slower in a desktop solution. Whereas with an online solution, very much the access to the data is very real time. If there's a long weekend, we may be talking a couple of days old, but in most cases it's very realistic that what you're looking at is what's actually happening in- Steve Burnham:         It's real time. I mean, are there other benefits from cloud-based app solutions? Heather Smith:          There are lots of benefits of using your cloud-based app solutions. One of them is the ability, the flexibility of not actually having to be tied to a desk. You can actually work from anywhere. So I actually have a friend who's just arrived in Amsterdam and he's running his 12 person accounting practice, but he'll be doing it from Amsterdam where he's holidaying with his family for a while. Steve Burnham:         Fantastic. Heather Smith:          Absolutely. One of the things is, when we do move to the cloud I see a lot of people taking what we call a worcation, which is a longer vacation, which they do a bit of work on, but because they do a bit of work they can actually stay overseas significantly longer. Heather Smith:          We also see the benefits ... And one of the benefits that you may not be aware of is because you're moving to a cloud, you no longer need a server. And also one of the things we encourage is to move to a paperless office so you no longer need printers, so you actually save a lot of space in terms of the server, in terms of the printer. And there's a lot of statistical data, I think if you look at the Australian Bureau of Statistics coming out, that says that people over the last decade are actually spending a lot less money. Businesses over the last decade are actually spending a lot less money on hardware, and they're actually spending it on cloud apps. Heather Smith:          But what that means is, you need less space in the office for all of this hardware, for this server. You need less insurance so you're actually reducing your expenses. Plus you've got people able to work from anywhere so you actually need less office space. So it reduces a lot of costs, but because you're able to access and process things a lot faster it also releases a lot of capacity in the firm so you can actually increase your revenue. I know it sounds almost magical, but the implementation benefits you both in terms of reducing expenses but also increasing revenue. Steve Burnham:         Yeah, it's amazing. I've just had a thought. I mean, it's a real mobile office, what you're talking about. No printers or desks or anything. And another plus would be no working out depreciation tables every year at tax time. Every business owner would like that. Heather Smith:          The depreciation tables. Yeah. So Xero, as an online accounting solution ... I just mention that one because it has ... Within the actual solution it actually has the depreciation tables, and you set up all of the rules and you click a button and it comes through every month. And what that means is the small business owner is recognising and seeing their actual depreciation on a monthly basis, rather than at the end of the financial year when it's overlaid and pushed back into the financial data. So yeah, it makes it really easy. And I know that for that particular one, the depreciation table, my tax accountant ... He does the depreciation in a very fancy a depreciation schedule machine that he had, and it came out to about one cent different to mine. So he's like, "I'll stop doing using my expensive depreciation tool and just start using what's within Xero." Steve Burnham:         Speaking of the end of ... Heather, use of tools within a practice. What are some business intelligence tools that a practice can make use of? Heather Smith:          Okay. So in terms of business intelligence tools, what these are doing is helping you strive to assist your clients and give them further insights into what they're actually doing. So I'm going to mention three tools here. The first one I'm going to mention is DataDear. And what this does is it connects to your online accounting solution, be it QuickBooks or be it Xero, and it extracts the data into spreadsheets. So you have it sitting in your spreadsheets and within the spreadsheet you can either manipulate it, maybe do some three-way forecasting, maybe do some graphs, maybe update the information, and you can use that as a report. Or you can push it back up into the online accounting solution so you can actually use it to update the solution. So that's what's known as a tool. Heather Smith:          Another great application of that is if you had three files, perhaps a few Xero files and a few QuickBooks online files, you could actually have all the data download into the one spreadsheet and then add it altogether. So you have multi entities adding together, which is especially useful when you've got complex business relationships or you have franchises and they want to see all the information in one place. Steve Burnham:         What was the name of that tool, sorry? Heather Smith:          DataDear. Yeah. So that's a cool tool that gets all the data into Excel, and accountants generally love playing in Excel and manipulating data. So it brings it out of that structured framework so you can just play with it and do what you actually need to create the reports, the pivot tables, the three-way forecasts that you need to do. Heather Smith:          But moving on from that, there's another sensational tool called Float, which is a detailed cash flow forecasting solution. But what it does is it focuses on producing a short to mid-term, operational cash flow forecasting. You plug it into the online accounting solution. You refine what you've got there, you reconcile your books, you refine what you've got there, and what that's doing is giving you the ability to talk to your client about the next 13 weeks, through to the next three years. Are there any things that they need to be aware of? Are there things that they can take advantage of? Do they need to be open to potentially preparing to have a loan in place if things are going to be stressful in the next few weeks? But what you're doing by giving them that information is you're giving them the ability to actually think about it rather than just put on blinkers and not think about it. Steve Burnham:         You mentioned a third one? Heather Smith:          And then another solution is Maus Business Solutions, which is a company based out of Sydney. And what they do is they assist the accountant, if they want to do this, in both providing the software solution and the education about becoming maybe an advisor. And so, what they do is they have lots of different avenues to point you along. So they can assist with doing a needs gap analysis of the accounting solution and identifying areas of improvement, or they can assist with taking the information and creating it into a business plan. And there's lots of checklists with that solution that assist you, that help you ask questions around it, and help the accountant understand their actual client by delving deeper into what's happening there. Heather Smith:          So that was a spectrum of different solutions and ways to tackle situations. What we're seeing in the accounting industry is there's a lot of cloud app solutions taking over the clerical roles, scanning bills and receipts, automating a lot of that side of it. But what it's doing is it's shifting the role of the accountant up towards offering the ability to offer more advisory work, if they want to, if that's where they want to. Heather Smith:          What I see is two things. One, they have the ability to take on a lot more clients and just do the same thing, but significantly more. Three to four times more, and as I watched the wave come through, it's quite surprising when people say, "I used to have 12 clients. I now have 80 clients and I couldn't imagine when I had 12 clients I would have 80 clients." So they're actually able to significantly either increase their client base, or what I always say is grow your clients and actually do more with your clients. So you either have lots of little fish or a few big fish- Steve Burnham:         And as the fish grow bigger they want to do more things and all that sort of thing. It all makes sense. Heather Smith:          And that can get really exciting, and if that's where you want to go, you've got the opportunity and there's a lot of tools that you can just lean on to assist you in doing this. Steve Burnham:         Heather, we also represent quite a few SMSF trustees. There's about 30% of our membership, but it's growing. There's more and more SMSFs around all the time. With the cloud-based solutions, are there some SMSF or compliance tools that a practice can make use of? Heather Smith:          Absolutely. In fact, I was just signing off on my own SMSF just before we got on the call. So one of the solutions I've used for many, many years is BGL Corporation Solutions, which is Simple Fund 360. Now, many people may be aware it used to be a desktop solution, but they now have it fully integrated in cloud-based solutions. So you can potentially be still using the desktop, but the cloud-based solution has all of the bank feeds that I was talking about before, plus it has feeds coming in from all different areas that you actually need for a self-managed Superfund. Heather Smith:          The benefits are that the client can jump in and see all of the reports, see all of the graphical representation, there's a lot of nice graphs in there, while the accountant and the auditor are reviewing what they need to on their side of it. Plus it's populating with all the necessary information from share movements, dividends, franking, etc. That just automates and populates because they've got these fantastic feeds in there. And the Simple Fund 360 has really embraced machine learning and automation within their tool. So it really makes it a lot simpler, easier to use, and actually spend your time with your tax accountant or your self-managed Superfund accountant talking to them rather than answering questions about the nitty gritty. Steve Burnham:         And all the compliance things. And I suppose it would make the annual audit a lot easier too, especially if the third party auditor is switched on and keyed in to the- Heather Smith:          Absolutely. So in terms of auditing and when it comes to the cloud solutions, both in the self-managed Superfund space and if we look at the online accounting space, with your ... What you're able to do is actually upload documentation or push documentation in. So with my self-managed Superfund, all of my documents are in there and my superannuation accountant loves me for that. With my online accounting, all of your clients can upload their documentation using a solution like Receipt Bank, which scans all of your receipts and your bills. It extracts the data and it pushes it up, and the document actually attaches to the transaction. Heather Smith:          So now the auditor swoops in. And typically when an auditor comes along they've got various things to check, but then they spot check various things. So perhaps they do 20 spot checks. They do 20 spot checks and they have found the supporting documentation attached to every single transaction. They're happy. They're not going to do any more spot checks because everything is lining up, and it's so easy and you don't think about ... When you go into setting up online accounting solutions and adopting them, you don't think of how much time it's going to save at the other end just in searching for documents and in the auditing of documents. Plus we already talked about, if there's fire or floods, I'm in Brisbane. We flood every few years. We need to be aware of that. Heather Smith:          But jumping back to talking about compliance. BGL also do an asset compliance solution called CAS 360, again. So if you're in the compliance space and you need to have trusts set up very quickly, that's another nifty, very niche solution that you can leverage. So when I'm talking to people and saying, "Look, have a look at cloud app solutions and look at them." You don't need to implement, and it's not expected that you implement everything all in one go. You can just identify one area, look at implementing it, implement it, refine it, train staff. Make sure you're really comfortable and embedded with the processes and then look at another one. What we say is, accounting practices will have a typical tech stack that they can implement, but we wouldn't say implement it all in one go. Just gradually work through it until you're comfortable. Steve Burnham:         And then the next step. So baby steps. You can do that. Heather Smith:          Yes. Yes. Steve Burnham:         It's a whole new world actually for accountants and tax practitioners, it seems. How do you see the adoption of automation and cloud apps changing the role of the accountant in Australia? Heather Smith:          Well, I think what it's going to do and what it is doing is it's reducing any need for manual data entry, and as I mentioned before they're able to take on a lot more clients. But they're also able to spend more time talking to their client, and there's a lot of talk around at the moment that you actually need to have these forward facing skills to have empathy with the client and that they need to talk to them. And they also have this ability to have these business intelligence tools in place that can trigger them having conversations about helping them actually manage and grow, and efficiently and effectively develop the business. So I think the accountant has an amazing opportunity to really develop some great relationships with small businesses and help small businesses, and adopt the efficiencies around processing the tax and the compliance side of things so that they can help them in other areas. Steve Burnham:         And as you know, when barbecue talk and pub talk ... I mean, if you can do something for someone else that saves them an hour or two or day or two, and do it cheaply or efficiently, that's all good and it's good for business. Heather Smith:          Absolutely. Absolutely. And some people actually refer to cloud apps as an extra employee. So when you have a few in place, they're replacing so much time in your business that it's like a subscription based employee that works 24/7, never has time off, and it actually ... In many cases I see it just giving people so much capacity, and giving them the flexibility to live ... It sounds really corny but, live a better life. And I know for myself, I take the longer worcations, as I mentioned. I run my entire practice. I'm a Premium Xero partner. I run my entire practice in my handbag, and I talk about going to coffices, which is a cafe office. And I go to a coffice and I just pull out all of my gizmos, set myself up, and just have an enjoyable morning wherever I may be. Steve Burnham:         That's amazing. Heather Smith:          But I am able to work and get work done. And obviously everyone's a bit different, but it does give you that flexibility. Steve Burnham:         That's amazing. Well, Heather, you're at the ... I was going to say, "Coalface," but it seems a bit old hat now, talking about cloud solutions. But anyway, you know what I mean. You're at the forefront of the industry, of what's happening. Tell us about some new features or releases that have caught your eye recently. Heather Smith:          Well, there's been a few new releases that are quite interesting. One of them comes from Expensify, which is an expense claims management solution. So you would typically, if you had a business that had multiple people using corporate credit cards that they need claims back, they needed to claim back money on, that would be a solution that you would typically recommend to them. And what they've recently done is integrated with Global VAT, and it means that when you process your expenses with Expensify, it can run through this other solution and it can identify if you can actually claim back GST or VAT from other countries that you've visited, depending on the requirements, etc. in those different countries. But it will do the assessment for you, which frees you up so you don't need to think about it. It's just nice to go ... My bills go through the system and are intelligently scanned and identify if I've got money I can claim back in terms of ... You know how the GST laws keep changing overseas? It's like, what can I do now? What should I be doing? Etc. Heather Smith:          So that's a cool solution and I did briefly mention Receipt Bank before. One of the solutions that has implemented just recently is I can go in and I can give it the details of the local toll roads, and it will go out and it will actually collect my invoices and my statements and just pull them into my system. I don't need to get them sent to me. So it's the system that calls itself Fetch. It just goes out, fetches the documentation, and pulls it in. One of the things that people say is, the documentation, it just goes out, fetches it and pulls it in for you. Look, it's really interesting and you think ... I always think, "We're here. We're here. We're here." And then someone brings out another one of these amazing solutions and I think ... Such as with Expensify, I think, "Well, for some people that will save them a huge amount of time and it will actually probably make them far more money than the solution costs in the long run." Steve Burnham:         That's exactly right. It's amazing. Heather Smith:          Yeah, so, I love it. Steve Burnham:         It's good to hear. I think our membership have really got to catch up a bit. There's so many things that could help their business. Hopefully they will after hearing this and reading a lot more about it. Heather, that's very enlightening. Thank you very much for your time today. Heather Smith:          Thank you so much, Steve, for having me on the show. Really appreciate it and I really appreciate talking to your members. Steve Burnham:         That's great. Hopefully we can do it again sometime in the future, Heather. Thank you.


26 Dec 2018

Rank #11

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🔑 How Accountants Can Effectively Scale Power BI Analysis | Cameron Lynch

Today I am speaking with Cameron Lynch founder of Etani Business Platform Cameron is a Chartered Accountant and the founder of the Etani Business Platform. He believes he can help businesses survive and prosper in today’s disruptive environment. Cameron is experienced with Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics, Big Data and implementing cloud-based solutions to streamline reporting systems. Live data has a significant role to play in assisting businesses to make wiser decisions, both now and in the future. Cameron’s passion is driven by the concept of creating vehicles to help businesses and individuals prosper. Cameron worked previously in Consolidated Financial Reporting. Every month, a team of accountants would send the subsidiary financial accounting data to existing, pre-filled tabs on numerous Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for consolidation.  While this may sound like smooth sailing, all it would take is for one person to hit the wrong key in the wrong cell, paste data into an incorrect tab, or add an additional column, without updating the SUM formula, and everything was corrupted. It was impossible to retain the integrity of all the accumulated data. Imagine this scenario: You walk into a meeting with your Board of Directors, armed only with your phone, tablet or laptop, containing live consolidated management reports. Your device can continually review all marketing, sales, finance and operational data in one place at any time. You can access updated information and answer all questions raised in the meeting, saving everybody a great deal of time and providing invaluable accurate insights.  Finally, Cameron has created a diverse new system, the culmination of years of experience, searching, testing, learning and an overwhelming passion to be the best.  How does the Etani Business Platform help accountants? When you couple Etani and Microsoft Power BI, you have a powerful system to help accountants in many different ways: 1. Etani provides your SME and small corporate clients with the best analytics software in the world. They have full access to live business insights simply by using their phone, tablet or desktop.  2. Accounting firms are enabled effectively do Power BI analysis at scale 3. You can extract data from third party SaaS software. Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks Online, Workflow Max, SimPro, Dear inventory, and many more. Live data is then streaming straight into your client’s dashboards  4. The Etani Bootcamp gives you 5 x 2 hour training sessions on BI in-house. Unlimited staff can attend or do the training online at your own pace. There’s plenty of on-going training available.  Templates: Etani has created a lengthy list of templates you can use inside Power BI. These cover sales analysis, budgeting, cashflow analysis, and various other scenarios. This template library continues to grow. Instead of your client struggling to make their own templates for each aspect of their work, these have been created for them, saving thousands of hours. Client delivery vehicle: Etani embeds your reports and dashboards into your own branded application. These are available on Desktops, iPhones, iPads, Androids and Tablets for your clients to use.  There are numerous benefits of doing this. • Your clients don’t need a Power BI Pro account (at a cost of $12.70 per month per user) to use the business insights. • You retain control of your IP. • The client can’t take the Power BI work you have done to another accountant. In this episode, we talk about . . . How his training to be an accountant, and understanding of cash flow has equipped him to run a business How Etani and Microsoft Power BI help practices deliver advisory services to SME’s. The two main reasons, Cameron thinks users love Power BI The different data sources clients want, beyond Financial data The most successful rollouts of Etani Business Platform and Power BI are undertaken by firms charging a monthly fee, productising their offering, and benefitting from recurring revenue. And I have included in the show notes a link to The International Federation of Accountants post stating that the reported balance sheet only reflects 20% of what is happening in the business and a link to those Trello templates. Thank you for listening to Cloud Stories. I hope you enjoyed the show. Can I encourage you to sign up to my newsletter, by visiting https://heathersmithsmallbusiness.com/newsletter/


15 Apr 2019

Rank #12

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People, Processes, Technology and Data: Essential Elements of a ♻️ Sustainable Business | Nick Sinclair

Today I am speaking with Nick Sinclair from TOA Global. In this episode, we talk about * What outsourcing and offshoring are, and what they involve * The different size business models leveraging offshoring * the importance of building offshoring into your people strategy, and incorporating ongoing training for all staff * Why TOA Global choose to base their operations in the Philippines, and how they prepare for natural disasters. * The ethical concerns people have about offshoring. * The typical life cycle of a practice utilising offshoring *  How to maintain a healthy work-life balance when over a third of the year is spent travelling Contact Details          W: www.theoutsourcedaccountant.com T: https://twitter.com/nickqsinclair L: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicksinclair/ Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here https://HeatherSmithAU.COM


21 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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How She Started a 100% Cloud-Based Practice 📋 | Natalie Lennon

Natalie Lennon from Two Sides Accounting joined me to talk about . . . How she started a 100% cloud-based practice What Accounting Apps she uses to Automate her practice How she offers Apps Advisory to her clients How she is using Zapier to connect a number of solutions  Natalie's commitment to helping the Love Mercy Foundation and the Cents for Seeds program for each new client onboarded. Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here  http:// HeatherSmithAU.com


12 Mar 2020

Rank #14

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Decision Making: The Art and Science of 🖼️ Finding Value | Lance Rubin

Lance Rubin of Model Citizn joined me to talk about . . . The journey from being a Chartered Accountant to a Cash Flow Financial Modeller How Lance tackles simple financial modelling problems to make an informed, relevant and purposeful decision with insight. And yet - with all the data and technology – why making decisions is still difficult Questions accountants can ask their clients and How businesses can utilise modelling to prepare for uncertain times Plus, the different technology Lance uses for data modelling, including DataDear, Power BI, Etani Business Platform, Tableau Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here: http:// HeatherSmithAU.COM


20 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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On a Mission 👨‍🚀 to Make Humans as Employable as Possible | Ben Thompson

Today I am speaking with Ben Thompson from Employment Hero  In this episode we talk about How he combines his economic law background with a love of technology How his solutions enable small businesses to offer employees benefits, which are typically only afforded to the larger firms. What fascinates him about building employment related businesses – that combine technology with people management? The concept psychology principal of Reward and Recognition – to create a positive workplace culture everybody should receive four times more positive feedback, than negative feedback, Some of the technology tools he uses, including GSuite, and Evernote some of his favourite business books, including Verne Harnish.


5 Oct 2019

Rank #16

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Reducing Fraud ⚠️ and Improving Supplier Relationships Through Digital Approval Workflows | Martin Peirce

Today I am speaking with Martin Peirce from Zahara Software. In this episode, we talk about: * The importance of controlling and managing spend in an organisation *The benefits of a good supplier relationship. * Martin likens his business partnership to that of Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams of Take That! * The reduction in processing time recognised from adopting a digital workflow. * The type of clients suited to using digital purchasing controls, including NFP’s, multi-sites, construction for project control, and retail stores for departmental control. *  Zahara is named after a Spanish town, where Martin’s business partner lived. Martin Peirce As CEO and founder of Zahara I am passionate about software development and creating systems that simplify business process. My teenage years spent programming my BBC Micro eventually found influence in my career after many years in property sales and business solutions sales. I designed Zahara back in 2015 and we launched it a year or so later. It now has a global user base of organisations managing and controlling their spend. Each new feature and refinement is as a result of my team and I listening carefully to what prospective and current customers want, to improve their finance function. Our experience in AP automation, document management and software-development has helped make Zahara a great success story. Bootstrapping Zahara has been great fun, but challenging. The future looks to be exciting. C2S continues to deliver support and professional services in the fields of AP automation and document management. Our affordable solutions work great with Sage 50, Xero & Quickbooks. We concentrate on the larger SME space dealing predominantly with multi-site, expanding organisations. Zahara Software Zahara is a cloud-based application to enable business to manage and control their spend. It provides the finance team with a complete visual of purchase requests that will soon follow into purchase orders and vendor invoices. Zahara is perfect for indirect costs. For the multi-site organisation or those running numerous projects at the same time. For us it’s not about stock and raw materials. It’s for those organisations like hospitality, leisure groups, care home groups, schools, restaurant chains, construction and electrical. Thank you for listening to Cloud Stories. I hope you enjoyed the show. Can I encourage you to sign up to my newsletter, by visiting https://heathersmithsmallbusiness.com/newsletter/


23 Apr 2019

Rank #17

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Underdogs 🥊 Disrupting and Challenging the Big Players| Phong Le

As Head of Growth APAC at Expensify, Phong identifies opportunities to strengthen our relationships with strategic partners in the Australia Pacific region. Phong is a boxing fan, cigar aficionado, and loves travelling to unique places in the world. He hates excuses and loves the company of both the big city and the vast wilderness. Based out of Melbourne, Phong loves helping customers find a solution to their expense reporting woes! Overview What is preaccounting? How to identify and diagnose preaccounting inefficiencies How can accountants optimise their clients’ preaccounting workflows and processes? How can accountants increase ROI by automating expense management in their firm? How do automation and Expensify address preacccounting issues? Twitter Facebook Subscribe to our Blog For more info. to get started, contact sales@expensify.com Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here https://HeatherSmithAU.com


21 Aug 2018

Rank #18

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Flipping🤸 the Australian Accounting Conference Model on Its Head | Laura Venables

Laura Venables Bio: Currently leading Accounting Business Expo & Accountech.Live - the world's premier business and digital transformation events for the world of accountancy & finance. An accomplished professional with over 12 years sales, events & exhibition industry experience, across a diverse range of market sectors. I work closely with hundreds of international brands, facilitating meaningful connections by creating industry-defining events in the UK and Australia. National Media: National Media is a highly acknowledged leader in the Australian Exhibition and Events industry. We concept, produce and market award winning events across a range of industry verticals. For two decades, we have delivered industry-defining events that drive innovation and evolution within the markets they serve. We have been the architect behind dozens of highly successful event launches and have run hundreds of trade shows, conferences and consumer events. Every year, our events bring together thousands of fans and business professionals, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, buyers and sellers, global brands and hot start-ups to meet face-to-face and fuel the exchange of knowledge, ideas and commerce. They bring brands to life, create unique experiences and deliver real business opportunities for our customers. Brilliance is what we strive for. Uncompromising quality, entrepreneurial spirit, passion and above all, trust and integrity are the values we embrace. Links Laura Venables LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-venables-46801012/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheLauraVee Register: https://www.accountech.live/


21 Oct 2018

Rank #19

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🔐 Unlocking Your Untapped Capacity Using Cloud Applications | Amy Holdsworth

Today I’m speaking with Amy Holdsworth, CEO & Founder of Clarity Street In this episode, we talk about . . . Recommendations for someone wanting to start a modern future-focused cloud practice. Fast and Furious implementations that could provide some quick capacity wins Juggling change management, how to get the decision-makers across the line? Advice for someone in an old school firm that wants to automate, modernise and move to the cloud. How do you reposition the client lifecycle and get the most out of your software! How her side hustle, Red Coat Cake, helps her keep current with some different technology tools.  Subscribe to the Accounting Apps newsletter here http:// HeatherSmithAU.COM


27 May 2020

Rank #20